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Fight for the Wight: Q and A

Saturday, March 12, 2016 - 12:32

ALAN Marriott, editor of the Isle of Wight County Press and Fight for the Wight campaigner, answers Islanders' questions about the campaign.

You can sign the petition and find out more here.

1. Why is the Isle of Wight a special case, why should it get more money?

There are many reasons, including having no access to the rural service grant, average wages that are 20 per cent lower than Portsmouth and Southampton, the high number of older people means higher costs, as well as higher travel costs and other issues affected by the separation by sea.

2. What are the public services that need saving?

As reported recently, things as crucial as Westminster House respite centre, and the Adelaide and Gouldings resource centres are at risk. These major services, through to bus subsidies, libraries, public toilets, public flower beds and waste collections are all in danger.

3. What's the point of signing up to 'another petition'?

We hope to attract as much support from a broad range of people and present to government a real show of strength they cannot ignore. Things are so critical we cannot ignore them. This is the time to fight and it is why the County Press is leading this campaign.

4. Why is Andrew Turner involved — didn't he and the Tories vote for cuts?
At the launch event last week, Andrew Turner said the Prime Minister and minister Greg Clark had both agreed the Island had a unique case. Mr Turner has said there is room for cuts to local government nationally, but he believes the Isle of Wight is a special case. He said he shared the campaigns aims.

5. Isn't this just the same old faces?
No, everyone from the national Green Party leader Natalie Bennett and the boss of Bestival Rob da Bank, to shopowners and trade unionists have already given their backing.
We want as many people, from all walks of life and political persuasions to get involved. This is about people, not politics, about fighting for our Island.

6. Why six months?
We hope that if enough Islanders come together behind Fight for the Wight, it could influence what happens when the Chancellor announces his Autumn Statement.

7. Where do I sign?

 


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